By Chuck Fall
Representative Bill Pascrell from New Jersey is indignant that 126 House Republicans betrayed their oath to the constitution when they filed legal briefs in support of the State of Texas lawsuit that asks the US Supreme Court to intervene in the electoral processes of 4 states. The SCOTUS declined to hear the case.
The Trump campaign and the president himself have called the 2020 election a “fraud,” “stolen,” advanced multiples lawsuits in multiple states to stall the vote count, or suppress voter turnout. The president has not prevailed in any of the suits his people have filed for lack of evidence.
President Trump has nurtured and advanced a claim that he has been wronged and refuses to concede; indeed, the president has used these false claims to solicit donations and build a political war chest to spend as he sees fit in the the post-presidential chapter of his life.
Does the President believe what he says, or is his denunciation of the election just political theater? Perhaps Representative Pascrell is staging a scene to match the President’s.
Rep. Pascrell points to Amendment 14, Section 3 that makes it unconstitutional for elected representatives to seek to overthrow the government. By standing with President Trump’s claim that the election was stolen, and that President-elect Biden is not legitimate, the Representatives deny the legitimacy of the electoral process, and side with President Trump in violation of their constitutional oath, Rep. Pascrell argues.
The long serving New Jersey representative is asking Speaker Pelosi to use her authority to bar the Republican representatives from taking their seats in the House, if possible. Otherwise, he asks that she do something to hold the representatives to account for their malfeasance.
William Rivers Pitt in TruthOut writes that he doubts the Speaker will take any strong action against the Republicans; but he acknowledges that the country is being pushed toward autocracy, and the impunity of the political elites to violate the constitution will only end if strong sanctions are applied. The Pacific Greens agree.
“Looking at our democracy from the ‘broken window theory,’ of how a neighborhood deteriorates due to neglect, the failure to repair our broken civil discourse, and rickety electoral processes, will lead to deeper political alienation,” said Charles Newlin, PGP Media contact.
“The Republicans’ refusal to play by the rules, to follow electoral law, does have a corrosive effect on democracy itself,” said Newlin. “We encourage Speaker Pelosi to turn the Republican rebellion into some kind of a national teach-able moment, so the country can avoid a repeat of this kind of dangerous and irresponsible political theater in the future.”
Pointing out that the president’s lawsuits to overturn the election started with attacks on mail in ballots, and later focused on lobbying state legislators to appoint electors to override the vote, Newlin said “the Greens want to highlight the need for the president to be elected by popular vote; that would have settled the matter of who is president long ago and denied the President an opportunity to claim the election was stolen. The Congress needs to institute reforms next year.”
The Pacific Green Party recognizes the importance of the democratic reforms developed by the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship in the report “Our Common Purpose;” chiefly is the call to implement campaign finance reforms, and most significantly, implement Ranked Choice Voting for selecting our elected representatives, two reforms the Greens support strongly.